Varsity Football Preview
24th April 2015
Men’s football pre-match interview:
As our national sport, football is always one of the Varsity events that people get especially excited for. It is once again going to be held at Notts County’s beautiful Meadow Lane, with both a women’s and a men’s match.
The University of Nottingham’s record in Varsity football has been poor. Only fourth years may remember seeing a green and gold win in the sport – the women won 1-0 in 2012. UoN lost both fixtures in each of the last two years. In 2014, the women were beaten 2-0 by an excellent Trent side. The men’s team took a first half lead but trailed 3-1 by half-time and were unable to change that scoreline in the second half.
Undoubtedly Uni’s best shot at preventing the emergence of an unwanted historical pattern comes in the women’s match this year. Nottingham University finished 2nd in Midlands 1A but level on points with 1st-placed Oxford. NTU were in the league above in Premier North, but finished bottom with just 1 point from their 10 matches. It means that while Trent were in a higher division this season, the momentum and confidence is with the UoN women’s team, who appear to have a very strong team spirit as well. This match should be a close affair and with the two teams of broadly similar abilities, the result really will come down to who fulfils more of their potential on the day.
The men’s football match meanwhile has been subject to press throughout the year. All players from NUFC have been banned from the men’s fixture for holding an initiation-style event. Keen to avoid a repeat of the cancellation of 2014’s Varsity Rugby, the Students’ Union decided that the fixture would still go ahead – but with players from the Intra-Mural Sports teams representing UoN. Trent will still field their club’s first team.
It means that there is a big mismatch on paper and the favourites for the Varsity point are certainly Nottingham Trent. If the challenge didn’t already seem big enough, NTU have had an excellent season, winning Midlands 1A with 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats.
The IMS team for UoN has been training hard, receiving coaching and preparing for the game in the same way as other Varsity teams. They fancy that they could cause an upset.
It would be an upset. But if it can happen in any sport, it’s football.
For full live coverage, including commentary of both the men’s and women’s matches, tune in to URN from 5pm on Friday.